Can you hear me?


Sometimes I can’t communicate with other pedestrians and transit riders during my commute. And it’s not because of language. To be honest, I find myself talking to myself an awful lot. Now this isn’t a safety issue if I’m just trying to be social with someone while they are plugged into music. No, it’s when I am on our shared network of trails and sidewalks that I start to worry. If on my bike, I call out “passing on your left” to the walker or runner only to have them jump when I actually pass by.

Exercise is good. But do we create safety problems when we are fully plugged in to music while moving our bodies? Can you hear a car horn? What about the brakes of a car? Do you notice if someone is approaching you from behind? I’m not the only one thinking about this. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Distracted Pedestrians Campaign shares injury and fatality statistics related to distracted walking – much of it caused by being distracted by our electronic devices.

What do you do to keep yourself safe while working out and walking?

2 responses to “Can you hear me?

  1. I’m someone who prefers to hear what is going on around me, as much for safety as for enjoyment. When I ride my bike I rely on my ears to hear cars behind me (difficult with the new electric cars) or around me. But I also like the sound of the wind and being in the moment. I don’t like the distraction of something in my ears, I need to hear. If I want to listen to something I prefer to give it my full attention.

    1. Thanks for adding this comment. I think you add an important point. Disengaging from electronics, being open to the natural world and being in the moment, is important for all of us.

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